Yes, it's a good idea to get a credit card at 18, as long as you use it responsibly.
Applying for a starter credit card as soon as possible will add positive information to your credit reports and will help you build credit fast. The main thing you need to do in order to benefit from a credit card's credit building effects is to always pay your bills on time and in full.
No, students under 18 cannot get a credit card on their own because the law requires you to be at least 18 years old before you can open a credit card account. The only way you can get a credit card if you are under 18 years old is to become an … read full answerauthorized user on someone else’s credit card account.
Key Things to Know About Being an Authorized User
An authorized user on a credit card account can make purchases but won’t be legally responsible for making payments.
Being added as an authorize user can be a great way to build or improve your credit as long as the account is kept in good standing with on-time payments.
To be added as an authorized user on someone’s account, they will need your name, your date of birth and, in some cases, your Social Security number.
Once you become an authorized user, you will typically get your own credit card with your name on it that you can use to make purchases.
Another option is to get a debit card. Since a debit card is linked to a checking account, you won’t be borrowing money like with a credit card, and you won’t have the opportunity to build credit like you would as an authorized user. However, a debit card can provide convenience relative to carrying cash.
You can get a credit card at 17 as an authorized user, but you have to be at least 18 years old to open a credit card account in your own name. And when you turn 18, you’ll need to show that you have your own independent income to qualify. In the meantime, you can begin to … read full answerbuild credit as an authorized user, and you can always use a debit card for everyday purchases.
Here’s what you can get instead of a credit card at 17:
Authorized user card: If someone makes you an authorized user on their card, the account will be added to your credit report. And if the main accountholder pays the monthly bills on time, your credit score will improve. The main accountholder may or may not decide to give you a card that you can use to charge purchases to the account. But you won’t be responsible for making payments either way.
Debit card: Most banks will give you a debit card connected to your checking account. You’ll be spending your own cash, not borrowing money, so you don’t need to be 18 to get one. Different banks have different rules, but most require you to be 13 or 14 years old. You won’t build credit with a debit card, but having one can make life more convenient until you turn 18.
So to recap, you can’t get a credit card at 17, at least not one of your own. But if you find someone to back you, then you can start building credit right away. And in just a year, you’ll be eligible for student credit cards, secured credit cards and other options for people new to credit.
One of the best credit cards for 18-year-olds is the Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card because it rewards cardholders with up to 1.5% cash back on purchases. The card also has a $0 annual fee and is intended for beginners with limited. There’s no security deposit required to open the account, either.
As you can see, the best card depends a lot on your financial situation and spending habits. For example, the best credit card for 18-year-old students is the Bank of America Travel Rewards for Students. This card comes with a $0 annual fee and a high rewards rate. A student’s age and earning potential are an attractive prospect for credit card issuers, so they’re willing to extend offers not readily available to non-students.
In addition, some of the other best credit cards for 18-year-olds are secured credit cards, which offer the easiest approval. They require a security deposit, typically around $200 or $300. The security deposit sets the credit limit and serves as collateral for the lender. It’s fully refundable after closing the account in good standing. The Capital One Platinum Secured is one of the best secured credit cards for 18-year-olds.
Best Ways for 18-Year-Olds to Access Credit
Keep in mind that the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 places limits on credit cards for 18-year-olds. Under the law, consumers younger than 21 years old must have either a co-signer or proof of a steady income to be a credit card’s primary accountholder. If you can meet one of these two requirements, you’ll have a pool of cards to choose from that will help you establish credit.
Another option is to become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card. You can become an authorized user on any type of credit card, and you’ll enjoy any benefits the card offers while you establish your credit. The primary cardholder is financially responsible for the account, and his or her card activity will also be reflected on your credit report. However, any negative information such as late or missed payments will cause a drop in both of your credit scores.
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